Transcript for President Trump visits tornado damage victims, signs Bibles
touring the tornado damage from last weekend’s deadly severe weather and attacking the democratic party as anti-Israel and anti-jewish. ABC’s white house correspondent Tara Palmeri is in west palm beach where the president is spending the weekend. Tara, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, Eva. President trump received a hero’s welcome in Alabama where he toured the devastation from a tornado that left 23 people dead. The president and first lady met with families who lost everything they own offering words of comfort and even autographing bibles. Trump stopped along the way to observe a moment of silence in front of crosses for storm victims age 6 to 89. But back in D.C. He faced a different political storm, the president accused Democrats of being anti-Israel and anti-jewish after the house passed a sweeping resolution rejecting hateful speech including anti-semitism and islamophobia. I thought yesterday’s vote by the house was disgraceful because it’s become — the Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They’ve become an anti-jewish party. And I thought that vote was a disgrace and so does everybody else if you get an honest answer. Reporter: The bill did not call out democratic congresswoman OMAR by name who sparked the debate on capitol hill with comments that promoted anti-semitic stereotypes. There was a rift within the democratic party over how to condemn her remarks. All Democrats voted in favor of the bill. 23 Republicans opposed it and one voted present. Dan. Thank you very much, Tara Palmeri. Let’s talk more about this and go to Texas where we find our ABC news chief political analyst, Matthew dowd. Matthew, good morning. Critics argue that the president’s accusations of anti-semitism are rich and hypocritical here given the fact that he’s made some comments in the past that have been quite controversial including the one about there being quote/unquote good people on both sides in charlottesville after the white supremacist rally there. Nevertheless, is this potentially a potent line of attack on Democrats by accusing them of being anti-semites? Well, Dan, as you know, I’m no rocket scientist but I don’t know if it’s a good strategy for the president and the GOP to run on a platform of anti-semitism, anti-racism, anti-sexism. As you say, the hypocrisy. It would be a bit like Al Capone running on being anti-criminal in the course of this. So I don’t think it’s a good line of attack. I think we’re going to move past and have more controversies next week. I don’t think it’s a good ground for the president to fight on. Yeah. In this news cycle we may be on to something else quickly, but in the meanwhile, it is taking up a lot of air time in Washington. And let me ask you specifically about the representative at the center of this, Tara was talking about her, her name is ilhan OMAR and she’s a freshman congresswoman in Minnesota that kicked off this by making comments that were widely panned as anti-semitic and now she’s making news against by criticizing saying former president Obama saying, he quote, got away with murder by hiding behind a pretty face talking about his policies about detaining children at the border. And launching drone strikes overseas. So as the Democrats prepare to take on president trump in the 2020 campaign, do you think this in-fighting we’re seeing could be damaging? Well, I’ll give the representative who’s stepped in it a number of times a little advice I try to apply not always well to myself which is think before you speak and think standing for before you say it, is it true, is it helpful, is it inspiring, is it necessary and is it kind? Ask yourself of that before you tweet or before you say something in this. I think in the end the Democrats have to figure out a way to be united. I think this is a new rep. She’s going to have to figure out a way to use better words and do it in a way that she’s more responsible in that but I think the 2020 race will fundamentally be defined if Donald Trump runs for re-election by Donald Trump and the message and vision of the democratic party will be defined by a freshman representative or someone else but by who the nominee of the democratic party is. That is what will define them. Donald Trump on one side and whoever the nominee for the democratic side is. They need to be united. I would say the representative as I said ought to think before she tweets or before she uses some words that she uses. Matthew dowd reporting in from Texas, we always appreciate your analysis on a Saturday morning, thank you, Matt. Who that nominee could be anybody’s guess. We have a growing list. More than a few candidates. I think so.
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